"One of the biggest problems—especially in Houston in the summer—is going to be mold," says Tyler Drew, a Los Angeles real estate agent and investor. "The longer a house sits with water, the worse the mold infestation. Affected areas have to be removed, the wood and concrete treated with anti-mold agents, and all of this has to be done after the house is sealed, in order to prevent the infestation from spreading and sickening people."
If you have a high concentration of mold, you may smell it. If you detect the typical musty odor, check for mold on damp carpets, damp walls, damp crawlspaces and wet wood under your floors, wet roof sheathing and other damp areas. Clean up these infestations right away before they get worse, and see the following photos for prevention measures on how to remove mold.
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Once any standing water has been removed, it’s time to start drying out the home. Your contractor will bring in different types of air movers (think of these like glorified fans) to help circulate airflow throughout the room. Don’t be surprised if they need to lift up a section of the carpet or position one of the air movers at certain sections of the walls to ensure air is getting to the most saturated parts of the room. If you have hardwood floors, they may use floor mats which help draw the water out of the floor. If needed, they might even remove the baseboards and drill holes into the drywall to help the walls dry faster. While some of these methods may sound extreme, they’re making every effort to dry the home without having to demolish and rebuild, which could add multiple weeks to the project timeline and become very costly.
If you’ve recently experienced a flood or pipe burst and have water damage in your home, you’re probably wondering “what happens now?” The first, and most important, step when dealing with water or flood damage is to stop any active leaks in the home. This can be done by shutting off the home’s main water supply. If you don’t know how to shut off your home’s water supply, call a professional plumber or your local water supply company for assistance. Once any active leaks have been addressed and all water has been turned off, it’s imperative you call a professional to start the water damage cleanup process as quickly as possible to minimize damage.
It’s important to get rid of all moisture ASAP before it causes more damage. And for small leaks, this may not be difficult, but it’s important to be thorough. Use fans to circulate air in the affected area. For larger projects, consider renting a large-capacity dehumidifier to really dry out surrounding wood, carpet, and other materials. You don’t want any moisture left after your water damage repair.
A leaky faucet, cracked bathtub, or failing toilet can easily become a much larger and costlier problem. A 120-square foot bathroom can cost as much as $3,000 to clean up and repair. Homeowners spend an average of about $300 when hiring a plumber, but can save thousands in future expenses. More importantly, homeowner's insurance typically does not cover damage due to ignored maintenance issues.
When the next water damage call comes in for a flood cleanup due to a broken water pipe or drain backup, make sure you have all the commercial restoration equipment on hand that you need to tackle the job in a moment’s notice. Events like floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters can leave homes and businesses in peril and in need of professional restoration services.